MEET the latest trader in the spotlight , as the Leader continues ot celebrate Independent Retailer of the Month throughout July.

Name: Sarah Way

Business: RainbowBiz Hippy Shop

Location: 8 Daniel Owen Precinct, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1AP

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm

When did you open and why?

The Hippy Shop opened in July 2017 in order to support and sustain our community projects. RainbowBiz CIC is a social enterprise running projects and events throughout Flintshire.

The Hippy Shop is the trading arm which generates regular much needed income to sustain the following: Digging Deeside – a weekly gardening social project which supports some of the most marginalised members of our communities.

The group is open and accessible to everyone and offers a safe space to meet other like-minded people.

The project has allotment plots, a raised bed and planters which is maintains and all produce is shared among the volunteers. A light lunch and refreshments are also provided, in order to encourage volunteers to socialise together over lunch.

Arty Folk and Friendship Group – a weekly craft and creative group which aims to tackle isolation and provide a safe welcoming space for members to enjoy. All craft materials are provided, together with refreshments.

This is a group led project and members often requested various professional artists and workshops, which again are provided by the social enterprise.

Mind, Body and Spirit Festivals – large scale wellbeing events which are hosted five times per year. These popular Festivals are provided free of charge to the community in order to enable them to try out new experiences. A team of volunteers work together to host these Festivals and are encouraged to learn new skills, meet new people and experience team work.

Volunteer Wellbeing – Various training courses have been provided for the volunteers throughout the year. These have ranged from British Sign Language courses to Scam Awareness Online sessions. The volunteers are also encouraged to join the two social gatherings organised for them each year.

The Leader:

Why did you open in this location?

We felt that Mold is a vibrant market town and was the perfect location for a new small independent business.

There are already several other independent businesses in Mold and we felt our products would compliment these.

The town centre enjoys an outdoor market twice a week and we feel this attracts a good number of visitors from other areas. There are also several festivals and events throughout the year and these also increase footfall.

Tell us about your business/what do you sell?

The Hippy Shop is a welcoming shop which sells an extensive range of products from incense sticks to Fairtrade festival clothing for both adults and children, carved wooden gifts, wooden instruments, crystals, mobiles, crystal and chakra jewellery and ethnic homeware.

The Leader:

What’s your most memorable/proudest moment in business?

One of our proudest moments was when we moved from a market stall on Mold High Street into our first premises on Daniel Owen Precinct in Mold.

Our stock then hardly filled the space compared to now where we are bursting with lovely hippy essentials.

Our organisation RainbowBiz CIC has won several awards, but we have recently been shortlisted for the incredible Steve Morgan Foundation Entrepreneurial Awards for the Best Social Enterprise 2019 which has really boosted our staff and volunteers.

Our proudest moments are when facilitating our community projects such as “Digging Deeside” or the “RainbowBiz Mind, Body and Spirit Festival” at Theatr Clwyd.

It is wonderful to see how much our volunteers gain in independence and in confidence, and this could not happen without our trading arm sustaining them. Huge thanks go to our customers who actively support our community projects by purchasing from our shop in Mold.

Have you had any strange requests/quirky suggestions or stories from customers?

Every day!

We have requests for some strange things, but also can be offered some odd things too, once a lady came in and asked if we would like a couple of mannequins for the shop that had resided in her home for quite some time, she had dressed them both in her own clothes and put make up on them, and thought that people might actually like to see them in the shop.

We have also had a few crystal bouncing incidents where a crystal has shot off one of our shelves and landed in the middle of the floor.

Customers have found this pretty fascinating too and we have all come to the conclusion that it is because the shop is full of so much positive energy.